Sikkim, for an enthusiastic traveller, traditionally meant North and West Sikkim, comprising primarily of Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang in the north and Peling, Geyzing and Kaluk in the west. East Sikkim meant only Gangtok.
The discovery of Ranka, only 14km from Gangtok, is about to change that. Resting on the ravines of a hill at a height of 5,000ft with dense foliage and greenery all around, Ranka is located to the west of Gangtok. The panoramic view of Gangtok from Ranka in the evening is akin to a starlit sky. The backdrop creates an blissful ambience. This place is largely unexplored, uninhabited, cool and quiet.
For accommodation, the best option is the Khangchendzonga Tourist Complex. It has an amusement park built by the Sikkim tourism department. A pioneering standalone project of its kind, this 16-acre property stands on the ridges of a hill. A majestic observatory at the reception to an awe-inspiring amusement park way down in the slopes with 24 cottages spreading between — the complex has a lot to offer for every family member. This project showcases the many gifts with which Sikkim is endowed. It is the largest amusement park on a hill station in India and boasts of several facilities that can attract children and adults alike.
The fascinating ride simulator offers visitors a virtual ride over the length and breadth of Sikkim in 4D format. An open-air laser show in the evening depicting the culture of Sikkim along with a performance by local dance troupes beside jets of a dancing water fountain is breathtaking.
The cottages are spacious, airy and well spread out. Reasonably priced and equipped with all modern facilities (such as air-conditioning, room heater, refrigerator with a mini bar, running hot /cold water, TV, intercom and state-of-the-art bathrooms) the cottages provide us with the desired solitude and comfort. The food served in the room is indeed splendid.
A multi-cuisine restaurant, popularly known as Cave Café, boasts of a well stocked mushroom bar with sound and light simulations to recreate the effects of dawn, dusk, thunderstorm and rainfall. It creates a feeling of a jungle environment, showcasing Sikkimese flora, fauna and bio-diversity.
We can enjoy a ride on a toy train that winds its way through a tunnel. The complex has a kids’ fun zone and an arcade to help visitors take home a little bit of Sikkim.
Villa Club, which houses a bar, restaurant, bowling alley, indoor swimming pools with heating arrangement and a snooker room provide a complete family experience along with a multilevel plaza that offers a panoramic view of the picturesque complex.
Visitors can enjoy the serenity of nature in the lap of opulence and indulge themselves in luxury without having to worry about additional charges, for the facilities come free for tourists staying in the cottages.
A local monastery named Lingdum monastery and the Ban Jakhri waterfalls are worth a visit.
One can also go for a day-trip to Nathu La and Gangtok from Ranka.
How to go ?
It is a four-hour drive from Bagdogra airport or New Jalpaiguri station. The management of the tourist complex organises transport at a reasonable cost.
Where to stay ?
Khangchendzonga Tourist Complex
Barbing, Ranka, Sikkim-737101
Phone: 03592-210780, 9733227530